Combined Affiliated States U18 Team Manager Callan Gibson proves you don’t have to be a player to earn representative honours, and says he is excited to be involved in this week’s Australian Secondary Schools Championships in Kingscliff, NSW.
Gibson, who took on the role of Team Manager for the West Coast Pirates SG Ball Cup side and WA State team during the Combined Affiliated States Championships earlier in the year beat out competition from candidates from all over the country to secure the job.
“I’m pretty excited,” he said.
“To be a part of this team is quite good because it means that not only players get the opportunity to go forward, but also management and coaches. It’s the next step and can only get better from here.”
Gibson is joined in the squad by five WA players; Ollie Callan, Will Smith, Aidan Carstairs, Jaylen Grey and Kristian Williams, after they all impressed for WA during the CAS Championship.
“The talent coming from WA is pretty damn good,” Gibson said.
“It’s a major achievement for these guys.”
2018 marks the second consecutive year lock forward Ollie Callan has earned CAS honours, with the Joondalup Giants star being named co-captain for the tournament.
For Smith, Carstairs, Grey and Williams, however, the experience will be entirely new, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be up for the challenge.
All of the boys aside from Williams have played senior rugby league at some stage this season, and Gibson believes that will put them in good stead to succeed.
“These boys are strong, inside and outside. Mentally and physically it’s going to be really rewarding and I think these are the five kids WA should look out for in the future,” he said.
The CAS side is made up of players from WA, Victoria, South Australia and Northern Territory, and will compete in Pool B alongside the Australian Capital Territory and a NSW Combined Independent Schools side.
The boys open up their tournament on Sunday with a game against NSWCIS at 9am WST before playing ACT on Monday at 10am WST.